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62                                  LIFE  OF
On the 27th March, 18003 the travellers arrival in
San Fernando do Apure, after having two iluyx
before, without any track, crossed, the lar^e plain of
the Caracas sfceppes, where the eye soos no object
even five inches high within the horizon, and "whoro
lie unexpectedly found a small captiem ostablislnnout,
in the desert. The three days they spent. n(; Han
Fernando were employed in cultivating j\, better ac-
quaintance with this district, which is wubjoef; to fro-
quent inundations., and therefore reminds <mo of Lowor
Egypt, and where the Orinocco and Amazon frud
their natural level by a peculiar aqviaticHyHt.tMn. Tho
rainy season with its numerous storms, in %1'ioMo train
the inundations generally foJlow, was comamviuun^, ami
although the atmospheric phenomena of this soanon
were an interesting, absorbing* subjoct of his Inquiries,
stili the rain inckiced him to continue Ills journey on
the river Apure itself., on a plroge or broad boat, an
the Indians build it, and which was manned by a
steersman and four Indians. Provided with provi-
sions for a month, and with objects fox* batter with
the Indians on the Oriixocco^ they embarked and
sailed down the stream, which abounds in iiKlicH, Bea-
cows, and tortoises., and on whoso shores tho bml,B
often served them for food Kvorytliirigf noteworthy
which occurred to tho observing Hmuboldt on this
river journey he drew at once, and it was hia wont
always to note down whatever intorostcd him on t,l*
spotj for what is wxitteix iu sight of tlio objectiH one
would describe bears the impress of truth, and this
feature lends a charm, even to tin4, most iimigmiiaxiut
.things which Humboldt wrote. The greater niuJ the
more imposing nature reveals itself, the more simply
true are his delineations., which is the most preferable
feature of plans made on the spot
It was Humboldt's intention to sail down the
Apure and up the Oriaocco, into winch tho former
river flows, and then, to continue his journey on the
Rio ISTegro. The brother-in-law of tlxo commander of
Varinas., Don ISTicolas Latto? accompanied liim on his